Sex Signals: The Biology of Love

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9780894950490: Sex Signals: The Biology of Love

Sex Signals: The Biology of Love offers new insights about why people behave the way they do when they meet, flirt, touch, and fall in love. Dr. Perper's ideas are based on more than 900 hours of scientific observations made wherever men and women meet -- in singles bars, restaurants, parties, train stations. He concludes that intimacy develops not through magic or "good vibes" but through a clearly defined courtship sequence that involves the two people in a mutual, escalating, and interlocking series of stages: from the approach, through talking, turning to face each other, touching, and synchronizing movements. Dr. Perper sees love and intimacy as part of a tapestry that weaves together strands from culture, history, psychology, and biology. Sex Signals will interest general readers as well as biologists, social scientists, and students of human behavior and sexuality.

Chapter 1: That Ole Black Magic: The Lover's Eyes/The Scientist's Eyes/An Infinite Regress/Fidelity of Transmission/Variation Within Limits/Deus Ex Machina/The Biosocial Approach/An Example -- Templates/Why Biology? (sets the stage for an analysis of courtship from the perspective of both biology and social science)

Chapter 2: Nature and Nurture: Ethnobiology/Ethnobiology: Nature as Divine (what biology is and what it is not)

Chapter 3: The Biosocial Approach: Structure and Function/Biosocial Functionality/The Biological Capacity for Behavioral Variation/Biology and Courtship (how biology and culture interact and interpenetrate)

Chapter 4: The Course of True Love: The Courtship Sequence: The Core Sequence/Escalation and Response/Some Implications, Practical and Otherwise/Theory and Practice for Lovers and Scientists/Feedback and the Stability of Courtship (the "body language" and behavior of two people when they first meet and begin to feel attracted to each other)

Chapter 5: Proceptivity: Sexual Repression/An Ethnographic Short Circuit/Proceptive Women and Responsive Men/As the Kid Goes for Broke: The Proceptive Tradition (how women take the initiative in courtship)

Chapter 6: Three Faces of Reluctance: The Rules for Smart and Proper Sex/Outright Rejections, Heroic Deeds, and Good Opinions/U.S. and Canadian Women Writing About How to Reject Men/The Tradition of Giving the Man a Chance/Finding a Good Man/Envoi/Biology Once Again and a Transition (how women reject men and postpone sexual involvement)

Chapter 7: Men: Love Hatred and Poetry: Partisanship/Men Talking and Writing About Seduction/Rape: A Biosocial Pathology of Courtship/Men and Courtship/Poetry (how men talk about women and courtship)

Chapter 8: The Sacred: An Ethnographic Short Circuit -- and a Caution/Durkheim and the Concepts of the Sacred and the Profane/On the Threshold/Pure and Impure/The Rhythm of Life (how and why sexuality and marriage are deemed "sacred" in social rules and customs)

Chapter 9: Unraveling: The Biosocial Function of the Sacred/Biosocial Reality/The Social Sciences as Mythology/The Social and Biological Sciences in Crisis/Reweaving (the scientific revolution, the sexual revolution, and the future)

Appendix: The Art and Science of People Watching: Observations in the Neoclassical and Realist Modes: Visions in the Expert Mode/A Multiplicity of Visions/Visions in a Confused Mode/Visions in the Neoclassical Mode/Neoclassicism and Social Science/Visions in a Realist Mode/Reality is Observable/Interviewing in the Realist Mode/The Real World in Focus (how to observe, and how NOT to observe, courtship behavior in public)

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From the Back Cover:

Here's what they're saying about Dr. Perper's remarkable study of sexual attraction! From Glamour: "According to Timothy Perper, PhD., a Philadelphia biologist who charted the behavior of five-hundred couples in bars in the Northeast...'Women are exquisitely familiar with what occurs during flirtations while men are generally ignorant...Women who want to make successful contact shouldn't be afraid to take the initiative.'" From Vogue: "Perper is writing a book about his findings. He says he thinks everyone should be 'comfortable with their biology,' and hope he helps people take it easy when they flirt." From The Philadelphia Inquirer: "Perper said he found bars to be the ideal location for studying the human animal...Using observational techniques honed in the 1970's when he studied the copulatory behavior of rats, Perper has learned to isolate and document each step in the sequence of flirtation behavior."

About the Author:

Timothy Perper is an independent scholar with a doctorate in Biology (Genetics) from the City University of New York. He was the recipient of a two-year full-support grant from The Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation, during which time he did the field observations for Sex Signals: The Biology of Love. He has taught biology at Rutgers University, served as Associate Editor and Book Review Editor of The Journal of Sex Research, and has written numerous articles, papers, and presentations relating to love and sexuality and their evolution and development. He co-edited The Complete Dictionary of Sexology, co-authored For Sex Education: See Librarian, and is currently working on a book about the evolution of erotic love.

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

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Perper, Timothy
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Perper, Timothy
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